When you think about an assistant, you might just think of someone doting around another person, answering their beck and call and telling them when their next appointment is. Guess what? You can do the same thing with Alexa.
You can just ping it and ask how your day or week looks, or what appointments you have left before you can go home and take a long-deserved nap. To get to that point though, you're going to need to do some setting up.
How do you set it up and, more importantly, which calendar systems can you connect to it? Let's roll through it.
Set up your calendars
Before anything else, you're going to have to pop open that Alexa app to connect your calendars.
1. Click the hamburger menu.
2. Tap Settings.
3. Scroll down to Calendar.
4. Choose your calendar service.
You have four options here: Google, Microsoft, Apple and Microsoft Exchange. Each account has different requirements for signing in. For instance, if you've got an Apple account with two-factor authentication you'll need to go generate an app-specific password for Alexa to use.
Once you do that, all your calendars from that service will be synced. If you want to omit some calendars, do the following:
1. Head back to the Calendar section in Settings.
2. Click on your calendar service.
3. Uncheck what you don't want to see.
Now, here's the rub with Alexa. You're going to need to choose one calendar that Alexa uses to add events to. That's right, you can't have it add things to different calendars. Here's how to choose your one special calendar.
1. Back to the Calendar section in Settings you go.
2. Look under Alexa will add new events to this calendar.
3. Click and use the scroll wheel to choose your calendar.
Boom, you're all set up. Alexa will now be able to read you your calendar appointments and create new events for you in the calendar you chose.
Unfortunately, you will not be able to set up multiple profiles, each with their own calendar. So if you have a family, or a spouse, it might be worth creating a shared calendar and using that as your "creation calendar."
You can also invite people to calendar events, but you'll need to make sure you have them in your contacts and you have an email address associated with that person. If you don't, Alexa will put that person's name in your event information, but you'll have to invite them without Alexa's help.
Speaking of inviting other people to your events... if that other person has shared their own calendar information with Alexa, Alexa will crosscheck and see if they're available. If they're not, it'll recommend a better time for both of you. Similarly, if you move your meeting to a time that would make you double-booked, Alexa will let you know.
Alexa's calendar commands
Now that you have everything set up with Alexa, how do you use it to schedule your calendar? These are the many ways.
"Alexa, add an event to my calendar." (Alexa will then walk you through event creation)
"Alexa, ddd [event] to my calendar for [day] at [time]."
"Alexa, delete my [time] event."
"Alexa, cancel my [date] event."
"Alexa, delete [event] from my calendar."
"Alexa, move my [event name] to [time or date]."
"Alexa, reschedule my [time or date] event to [new time or date]."
"Alexa, schedule a [event name] with [person's name]."
"Alexa, create a meeting named [event name] with [person's name]."
"Alexa, invite [person's name] to [event name]."
Checking on events
"Alexa, when is my next event?"
"Alexa, what's on my calendar?"
"Alexa, show me my calendar."
"Alexa, what's on my calendar tomorrow at [time]?"
"Alexa, what's on my calendar on [day]?"
"Alexa, what's my calendar look like today?